Small Business Content Marketing Guide
Content marketing is the glue that holds your small business marketing plan together. Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram, email, or video, a good small business content marketing plan should be behind everything you do.
That’s why small businesses need content marketing. So what is content marketing, and how should you approach it? Read on to learn more how to approach content marketing for small businesses.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy that revolves around creating content like blogs, videos, emails, and podcasts to expand, engage and retain an audience. It’s excellent for building relationships with your customers. You can establish trust by demonstrating expertise, thought leadership, and showing your customers that you value and appreciate them.
Tactics like blogs are great for generating leads and increasing your SEO visibility and rankings. Creating an effective small business content marketing strategy takes work and careful planning. But, when done well, the results speak for themselves.
How Your Business Can Use Content Marketing
Content marketing covers a vast array of different areas and techniques. They can be used for a number of different business goals: generating awareness, building relationships with your audience, demonstrating your expertise, expanding your database of emails, and more. Here are some content marketing methods to consider.
Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing. Blogs are a versatile format, great for establishing a rapport with your audience and for showing off your knowledge. Just be sure to blog regularly: consistency is key.
Think of infographics as consumer-facing charts. They organize numbers, statistics, and facts in a visually appealing way that’s easy to understand. Infographics pair exceptionally well with blogs, where they can augment and enhance written content.
Videos are perfect for content like product demos, how-tos, and other explainers. According to Wyzowl, 73% of people prefer to learn about a product or service through a short video. Videos also encourage people to stay on your site, potentially increasing conversions.
Email campaigns can be used to reach customers directly. They should be useful, informative, and concise. Most importantly, make sure not to bombard your audience with constant emails. A few well-considered email campaigns will be better than spamming email ads.
E-books and white papers
If you want to demonstrate your industry knowledge and expertise, an e-book or white paper is the way to go. It’s important to treat these pieces as information sources, not ads for your business. The goal is to give your audience insights and valuable information.
According to DataReportal, 59% of the world’s population use social media. That astronomical reach has made social media a core pillar of content marketing. With that said, you shouldn’t jump on every single social media platform immediately. Your audience may be on Instagram and TikTok but not Twitter, for example.
User-generated content (UGC) refers to pieces about your brand that you don’t create. For example, if a customer posts a positive review of your brand or product on social media, all you need to do is repost it.
Podcasting is a great way to connect with your audience. They’ll get to know you and your insights, and you can encourage audience interaction by allowing them to send in questions or topics.
How to Start Using Content Marketing
A content marketing campaign takes careful planning and work. Here’s how to get started on your first campaign.
1. Identify your target audience
Before you start thinking about content, make sure to identify your target audience. Any content you create needs to be useful and relevant to your users, so it makes sense to learn who those users are.
2. Conduct keyword research
Once you’ve identified your audience, you’ll need to figure out what content will be useful to them. This is where keyword research comes in. Use it to figure out what subjects your target audience is interested and invested in.
3. Define your goals
What do you want your content to do? Are you looking to boost social media followers? Or do you want to gather more email addresses for an email marketing campaign? These two goals require very different styles of content marketing, there’s no one size fits all approach.
4. Decide on content type
What type of content you create is going to depend on your goals, audience, and business. It’s important not to limit yourself to one type of content, but don’t feel like you need to do everything, either. Instagram and TikTok might not make sense if you run a small accounting firm, for example.
5. Identify and allocate resources, i.e. who will write, edit, and proofread copy
Once you’ve decided on your content strategy, you need to figure out who will create it. You’ll be able to tackle some content with internal resources, but more complex executions like podcasts or videos may require outside help.
6. Create a content calendar
You’ll need a way to track the production of your content, so be sure to create a strong, easy to follow content calendar.
7. Create Content
You know your audience, you’ve got a plan, and your calendar is set: it’s time to create content!
8. Promote content to your target audience
If you want people to see the content you’ve created, you need to promote it. Use your social channels and email to promote your content. Tailor the channels you use to your target audience.
9. Measure results
Remember the goals you defined? Now’s the time to measure your results and see if you met them.
Quick Tips for Content Marketing
Have an opinion
Don’t create content for the sake of it. Make sure what you’re saying is interesting, new, or at least unique to your brand.
Update your content
Keep your content updated and evergreen. This is harder to do with videos and podcasts, but your blogs, infographics, and white papers should be kept updated and current.
Repurpose your content
Don’t silo your content to one platform. If you make a video, post it on YouTube, cut it down for TikTok, and create a written version as a blog. If something you created months ago is suddenly relevant again, refresh and repost it.
Understand your audience’s buyer journey
Your content should be in sync with your audience’s buyer journey. A how-to video might make someone more willing to purchase a piece of furniture that requires assembly, for example.
Write in-depth content, when applicable
E-books and white papers are great, but in-depth content isn’t applicable to all small businesses. Do a sense check before you create a lengthy piece.
Go beyond written formats
If you’re new to content marketing, blogs and articles are a great place to start. But don’t forget about formats like video and podcasts.
Keep your brand voice consistent
A content marketing strategy will involve numerous channels and platforms. It’s key to keep your brand’s voice consistent across them.
Publish original research
If you have the capability and are in the right industry, publishing original research via a white paper can be a content marketing coup.
Have more questions about content marketing? We’re here to help. Visit our Small Business Resource Hub to read timely tips, helpful resources, and get expert advice to grow your small business.